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Album Review | Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

posted by on 30/03/2012

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve done an album review, I believe the last time was actually a review of Nicki Minaj‘s debut album Pink Friday. We have decided to get more involved with album reviews and do them on a more regular basis. It just so happens that we pick up where we left off, with Nicki Minaj. Her new album Pink Fiday: Roman Reloaded is set to be released in a few days, April 2nd for UK/European fans and April 3rd for her US/Canadian Barbz. Before you go out a grab a copy, have a read and see what my thoughts are on the set. Full review on the flipside.

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Nicki Minaj is riding the her highest wave of popularity at the moment with endorsement deals and demands for her appearance coming at her left right and center. Now seems a perfect time for her to release her poorly named sophomore album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.

Let me start by stating that I absolutely hate the album title, it’s stupid, lazy and slightly confusing. When I first got wind of the title I thought that she was re-releasing her debut but I was wrong. Don’t even get me started on that hideous cover art *smh*, however let’s not dwell on this ridiculousness as there is plenty more to talk about.

The album starts with that crazy song she performed at the Grammys ‘Roman Holiday’ and yes before you ask the studio version of the song sounds just as crazy and her live rendition. Parts of the song are inaudible due to Minaj spouting all kinds of off key noises passing them off as lyrics. I’d say the first portion of the album (songs 1- 7) are what she meant by Roman Reloaded. By this I mean these songs are the more “hood” urban cuts on the record and usually her alter ego Roman is responsible for her urban records.

‘Champion’ featuring Nas, Drake and Young Jeezy is the stand out “hood” anthem on the album and is sure to do big things if and when it’s released as a single. ‘Beez In The Trap’ comes in second place, the simple snap yo finger beat and the uncomplicated flow goes off if played super loud. Oh and let’s not forget the albums name sake ‘Roman Reloaded’, another song that is sure to please her underground fans, the fans that remember mixtape Nicki.

From track 8 the album starts to lighten up and so the commercial switch begins, this is where alter ego Roman leaves the room and Nicki enters. ‘Right By My Side’ featuring Chris Brown and ‘Sex In The Lounge’ featuring Lil Wayne & Bobby V start the switch by moving away from hip-hop to a more R&B sound.

Track 10 through 18 are straight commercial cuts all geared to please her new fans that where acquired through the success of ‘Super Bass’ and most recently ‘Starships’. ‘Pound The Alarm’ is a certain hit. The funky electro cut follows the sound that we heard on Starships, I’m pretty sure that this will be released especially following the success of the already mentioned ‘ships.

‘Marilyn Monroe’ and ‘Young Forever’ are my personal faves from the Pop portion of the album. Both songs I would love to see released and have accompanying music videos, however I doubt it will happen as Nicki tends to not release the tracks that I feel are single worthy. For example, I thought she should have released ‘Save Me’ from her debut.

Obviously as with any album there are certain tracks that shouldn’t see the light of day but I’m not going to dwell on those mishaps as everyone has there own tastes so what I like will be different to what you like………. Erm scratch that, ‘Beautiful Sinner’, ‘Roman Holiday’ and ‘Stupid Hoe’ should be eliminated with immediate effect!

Overall I think that the album is much less schizophrenic than I thought it was going to be. We all know Nicki has many characters that she likes to showcase however I feel like she only gave us Roman and Nicki, which I appreciate. Sometimes less is more. For me the album should have been packaged in a similar way Christina Aguilera presented her album Back To Basics. There are two clear distinct sounds on this album so separating them on to two different discs would have made so much more sense.

The album is not as cohesive as her first effort but I think that it was to be expected as she has two very different sets of fans. Trying to please both sets of fans was a clear goal for this album and while I do feel that she has crafted material that will achieve this, she has yet to master a way in which it’s not so obvious. Hopefully album 3 will be full of songs that both sets of fans will like rather than designating half an album to each set.

Do I recommend this album? ….. I think I do, if you’re a Nicki fan be it “hood” Nicki or Super Bass Nicki there will be a song for you. Although as a whole piece I think I’ll stick with the original Pink Friday.